TV Review: New Girl Episodes 5 and 6 (USA, 2013)


Well, what can we say about last week’s New Girl? First and foremost, it’s nice to see a lot of the usual humour is getting back on track, although I have to say that this season has already showcased some splendid jokes, if they really can be called that. The theme of episode five seemed to be something along the lines of personal development: Nick, with Jess’ imposed help, taking the first step to sorting out his money issues, and Schmidt beginning to reflect over whether or not he is actually a good person (and really, is he? Without getting too technical about it, I’m going to take the Heimlich manoeuvre into account and throw out a tentative ‘probably’).

With all this progression, I’ll be interested to compare the present characters to those in the season finale – but, then again, perhaps that’s reading a little too deeply into a sitcom. As for the episode, a bit of slapping always seems to notch it up a bit, as does a touch (or more) of inebriation. Schmidt’s trying to coax some validation out of a drunk Nick may have been the highlight of the episode, for me. And who doesn’t love a reference to Wuthering Heights dropped in from out of nowhere? Good for you, old man! In the end, I think Winston brimming with pride over that candelabra was really the icing on the cake. For now, I’m sticking with THREE AND A HALF STARS (OUT OF FIVE).

Right, out with the old and onto the new. Three cheers for Halloween episodes! I’m going to say right off the bat that I’m not sure I’ve enjoyed an episode this much since that episode in season one where Nick thought he may have cancer. I’m trying to keep my biases in check but in terms of amusement factor and an actual, solid plot involving all of the characters, I think this episode hit the nail on the head. New Girl has a great habit of taking something ridiculous and just running with it, and I mean really running, and it tends to work in the show’s favour.

Between the ridiculous (and ridiculously inconsistent) writing voice of Michael Keaton, Winston’s blessed confusion over both the plot of The Truman Show and what ‘the kids’ really think about Robin (he’s not that bad, is he?), Jess’ appalling Batman impersonation topped off by her and Cece’s back-and-forth about ‘the Batmanmobile’, and, finally, the flashbacks of Nick and Schmidt in college that I always find fascinatingly accurate of the times, this episode had a really nice, solid flow to it. We even saw a few nice moments of vulnerability from Schmidt and a mawkish buddy scene between him and Nick, which was, thankfully, quickly broken by a joke. As for the end of the episode, I’ll keep this spoiler-free but I think it’s a great opening for what the writers have in store, and I’m sure the betting pools have started already for when Schmidt might return.

All this aside, when it comes to an episode like this, a lot of watchers are focused on only one thing: the Halloween costumes. While Schmidt gets the prize for best pun and Winston takes it out for most amusing, I think the real award is going to have to go to that great zombie-Hawaiian extra strolling around in the background. All in all, I’m going to throw my concerns to the wind and give this episode a mighty FOUR AND A  HALF STARS (OUT OF FIVE)

New Girl airs in Australia on Channel Ten.


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